Saturday, April 12, 2008

one has to be an idiot to drive in spain

All I can say is ... thank goodness I am still here to blog about this... one must be crazy, demented and all sorts of other things I can't even mention on this blog to be driving in Spain. I think I lost 10 pounds over the last couple of days. The Babe, who was the driver, swore that he would never again rent a vehicle in Spain and actually be the one driving it. Obviously, road signs and speed limits are just a suggestion here, and what looks like a small coastal town on a map, is a city of 556,000 people with absolutely no street signs and lunatic drivers going 100 km/hour in the heart of the city center.

We drove to Granada yesterday morning and we went to see the Alhambra... it was probably about 5C at that location. We froze so badly that our pictures look awful because my hands would not stop shaking. Since it was also pouring torrential rain, I can't say we enjoyed this outdoor place in the way it truly should have been enjoyed. It was a stunning series of structures and gardens. We went through it at lightening speed and then hovered in an outdoor, slightly sheltered area, until they allowed our drenched bodies into the main castle. 

After that we drove in the dead of night to Malaga - just to make our life a little harder - where we were so unnerved by the traffic that we drove into the first underground parking area we could see on the hotel strip (after taking many wrong turns to find that strip).  When our friend Dave, who is traveling with us, mentioned that we might not be allowed to park in that location, the Babe very wisely sputtered that he did not give a flying f!*k, he was parking there anyways (I am not allowed to swear - my mother reads my blog). Obviously whatever gods are out there were watching out for us because it turned out to be an underground parking area for a hotel that was 55 Euros a night, extremely clean and had a woman who - bless her a thousand times - spoke English. Malaga was blissfully warm - about 21 degrees today - and we sat on the beach, looked out over the Mediterranean and drank Sangrias. Ah, muy bien!!

I am certain you may have noticed that drinking is  heavily featured in these reports - trust me when I say I would have been a raving woman by now had I not had copious amounts of red wine to ease the after-effects of consistent, 6-day non-stop rain, a persistent cold and runny nose, and the good feelings that came from the rude signs one receives from local Spaniards who obviously had issues with our lack of understanding of the rules when driving in a three lane round-about. Believe it or not, I spent some money and bought a cute bag because in Malaga I was allowed to touch the goods and actually, was heavily encouraged by the local sales woman to make a purchase - she wanted to take my money - I almost dropped from the shock. 

I am so thrilled that two days before we have to go home we will have some decent weather. I am also thrilled that most likely we will not have to DRIVE in Spain again. The MEN, are off to a bullfight - I am definitely not heartbroken about not going - I am still recovering from the drive and quite honestly will sit here for - like, at least an hour - and knit a sock.